Where I Am

I love doing forensics. I’ve been working at this for 7 years and still get excited whenever I find that nugget of gold helping to prove/disprove a case. I love discovering new things and learning. I love teaching forensics too. I’ve taught for SANS this year and it is extremely rewarding.

For some reason I’ve gained notoriety in my chosen field. I’m still left baffled as to why. I have a blog, a podcast, and some cool-looking awards but I’m not sure what lasting effect I’ll leave on the field when I eventually hang up my dongles.

My commitments are taxing at times. I am responsible for all of the forensic work done by my company. I have a wife and 4 children and all of the extra-curricular activities having a family entails. I have religious commitments. On Sunday I’m up at 6am for 6:30am meetings and usually get home from church between 3 and 4pm. There’s a lot more but I’m sure you get the idea.

I keep getting asked when we’ll see the next 4:cast or 4:mag or what am I working on next. My simple answer is that I don’t know. 4:cast is simple enough to do. A couple of people show up on Google Hangouts and we post it. 4:mag is a different animal. I tried to do this on my own (with obvious contributions from others – I thank you all) but it is simply too time consuming for me to do by myself. I loved doing the first issue but a second issue won’t materialize until I have more help.

I’ve also been struggling with some other issues.

Before moving to the USA we rented a house. We believed we had done everything right by the landlord before leaving to come to the USA. Long story-short, he ended up suing us and we just settled yesterday. The settlement wasn’t for a huge amount of money but it will still hit us financially for the next year or so. It was not the ideal result by any means but we no longer have this haging over our heads. We know what we have to do and we’ll do it. This has been a stress in our lives for the last two years causing loss of sleep, panic attacks, and so on. As a result I’ve been left feeling somewhat lethargic and depressed at times. This means that things that I have previously let pass have caused me serious upset. One thing I have learned it that you must MUST get everything in writing. If you don’t, it doesn’t exist. Plain and simple. Our naivety has cost us dearly.

I also understand that being known in the field I’m likely to be the target of jokes, photoshopping, etc. I do feel, however, that this is somewhat disproportionate to how others are treated. Is it because I act like a goof sometimes? Do I make a particularly easy target? Unfortunately I took a hard couple of hits this year and, as I said earlier, these playful antics have become more difficult to deal with given my current state of mind. I have a relatively small group of close friends in this field. We mock each other freely. I expect that. But when people I don’t know start putting pictures of me in their presentations it gets to me. At that point I actually have to wonder whether I’m just the comedy relief for the rest of the field or if I contribute something of value.

At the summit Hal spoke about the impostor syndrome. I don’t think anyone can possibly know how much this hit home.

I’m not really sure how to close this out. I don’t want to stop doing 4:cast, neither do I want to stop people from having fun. I just want people to understand that you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives and, as such, should be careful with what is said/done at their expense.

One response to “Where I Am”

  1. I think it is a hazard of social media, that people see one side of you and think it represents the whole person; that because you are part of “the community,” and because you publicly put yourself “out there,” your persona is theirs to do with as they please. Your sense of violation therefore confuses and can even anger them.

    That doesn’t, of course, make that sense any less valid, especially since I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to get your permission before using your likeness. In any case, it’s my sense that those of us who experience impostor syndrome the most, usually also have the most to offer if we just let ourselves believe it, and seek out those people and situations that sharpen and amplify our potential.

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